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Thread: Beaglebone Black + DVB-T Dongle to feed FR24 (Wheezy)

  1. #1
    Captain peterhr's Avatar
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    Beaglebone Black + DVB-T Dongle to feed FR24 (Wheezy)

    Just trying this out - wheezy on micro SD card (for beaglebone)

    built FR24 feedin software the same way as the PI
    needed to "apt-get install pkg-config" to build dump1090 and "apt-get install psmisc" to get killall command

    had to configure FR24feed with --bs-ip=ipaddress of beaglebard (the feeder downloads the base station address from the FR24 upload site and needs over-riding if it's not correct)

    login is to /home/debian instead of /home/pi - so some scripts need minor edits

    on the whole it looks good

    Only slight issue is it's a bit unreliable booting from MicroSD - maybe if I copied the image onto the Beaglebone onboard flash memory - the problem would go away.

    Beaglebone - dump1090 uses 30% of the CPU
    PI - dump1090 uses 45% of the CPU

    (measured using 'top' command)

    Beagle bone has more time

    (my radar still doesn't appear on FR24 map though - too much competition)
    Last edited by peterhr; 2013-08-30 at 19:14.

  2. #2
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    Good work mate.

    What are your thoughts about beaglebone black (1ghz arm a8 chip if I am right) vs Rpi? Would it be more ?stable. Would you need to keep it in reachable distance for firmware updates if one wishes to keep it close like a mast head receiver?

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    Captain peterhr's Avatar
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    Too early for me to tell - FR24 rate the Beaglebone (may not be the black) that's what's in the FR24 boxes they're sending out. They don't like the PI because they think the SD card could cause long term problems where the BBB has 2GB on board.

    From what I've done with the Pi ... I would put that up the mast with a tuner dongle and and a 12v (in reality 8-22v) to 5v regulator from Ebay and run the who lot on power over Ethernet. Put it in a waterproof box - then protect that box from direct sunlight and showers so the waterproof box doesn't cook or have to deal with rivers of water. Depending on location some heat sink or insulation may be needed.

    Software updates ... can be done remotely - On the Pi the monitor is only really used for the initial setup and to enable the remote access.

    In value for money terms the BBB looks better on paper, though cases etc are harder to find here then in the USA.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterhr View Post
    Too early for me to tell - FR24 rate the Beaglebone (may not be the black) that's what's in the FR24 boxes they're sending out. They don't like the PI because they think the SD card could cause long term problems where the BBB has 2GB on board.

    From what I've done with the Pi ... I would put that up the mast with a tuner dongle and and a 12v (in reality 8-22v) to 5v regulator from Ebay and run the who lot on power over Ethernet. Put it in a waterproof box - then protect that box from direct sunlight and showers so the waterproof box doesn't cook or have to deal with rivers of water. Depending on location some heat sink or insulation may be needed.

    Software updates ... can be done remotely - On the Pi the monitor is only really used for the initial setup and to enable the remote access.

    In value for money terms the BBB looks better on paper, though cases etc are harder to find here then in the USA.
    Thanks for the update. Please keep us posted with your findings. If it works well perhaps I will give it a shot building it... with help from you perhaps on the script.

  5. #5
    Captain peterhr's Avatar
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    I did build it .... Almost exactly the same as doing the Pi ... Just needed an extra couple of modules. Problrm was on rebooting wheezy off the micro-sd was unreliable. Won't get time to spend on it for a couple of weeks.


    Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk 2
    T-EGBB19 : RTL2832U / R820T+ Raspberry Pi + Dump1090 + Voltage Injecter with Bulgarian collinear + Pre-amp 8m above ground level
    Click here for theoretical and here for measured range diagrams.
    Stats for: 24-Jun-2014, Aircraft seen: 1,505 , Positions reported: 490,687, Maximum distance: 249nm (461km)

  6. #6
    Captain peterhr's Avatar
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    Done a little more investigating.
    The beaglebone black (BBB) has two methods of being powered,
    1 - via a 5.5mm round plug on a 5V supply,
    2 - via a mini USB. Method 1 doesn't seam to power the USB outlet at all (may be a wheezy thing),

    Method 2 is marginal about having enough power to run the DVB-T dongle. The answer is

    5v power supply ---> USB2 hub (power input socket)
    BBB USB output > USB2 hub data input
    USB hub output > BBB mini USB socket
    USB hub output > DVB-T dongle
    No software changes just a lot more wires and I've had to introduce a USB hub = $cost$

    I've not yet found how to put Wheezy onto the built in flash - I may have to install to MMC, add the compressed image to the MMC then expand it into flash or just dd the mmc card to the built in flash (doing this worries me a bit in case I Brick the BBB)

    Presently the Pi looks a better bet (but I do prefer the MMC card on the BBB to the SD card on the Pi)
    Have to investigate overclocking the Pi ... apparently this is supported
    Last edited by peterhr; 2013-09-09 at 17:01.

  7. #7
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    Gidday, I'm just looking at a wee project to send data direct from my Beast to FR24 using a BBB. Did the FR24 arm app need any recompiling for the A8 on your setup? I'm looking at running it under Angstrom.

    Cheers
    Colin

  8. #8
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    41 south,

    Please have a look at the mode s beast group as well about BBB+Beast - blort.blort 's post.

  9. #9
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    Hi NBR, thanks it was him that gave me the link to this thread, but it does look as though peterhr has it running on the BBB so that really answers my question for now I'm still waiting for the BBB hardware to arrived but wanted to do a little forward planning/homework. I should perhaps start a new build thread for the Beast => BBB => FR24
    Last edited by 41south; 2013-09-12 at 23:15.

  10. #10
    Captain peterhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 41south View Post
    Gidday, I'm just looking at a wee project to send data direct from my Beast to FR24 using a BBB. Did the FR24 arm app need any recompiling for the A8 on your setup? I'm looking at running it under Angstrom.

    Cheers
    Colin
    Hi Colin,
    As mentioned in post 1 of this thread, I used wheezy and did (as close as possible) what I did on the Pi ... I didn't recompile the FR24 feed software, just down loaded it and unpacked the tgz.

    Quote Originally Posted by 41south View Post
    Hi NBR, thanks it was him that gave me the link to this thread, but it does look as though peterhr has it running on the BBB so that really answers my question for now I'm still waiting for the BBB hardware to arrived but wanted to do a little forward planning/homework. I should perhaps start a new build thread for the Beast => BBB => FR24
    Good idea ... Maybe this this tread should be renamed "Beaglebone Black + DVB-T Dongle to feed FR24 (Wheezy)" - that would leave sapce for "Beaglebone Black + DVB-T Dongle to feed FR24 (Angstrom)"

    dump1090 does have the ability to consolidate data from other souces - I don't know of it can collect data from the beast - see the read me at https://github.com/antirez/dump1090

    My interest in this is to help people get a reliable radar working at minimal cost and to give them a toe in the water on Linux. Most people do have a windows machine at home but they don't really want to leave it on 24/7 for whatever reason (for me I don't want to pay for the power it uses, and being a windows PC it will need rebooting from time to time anyway).

    Once people want to move on from the simple set up with better antennas etc, that's up to them.

    I still have to erect a taller mast and put the dongle + Pi/BBB + POE stuff in a waterproof box and move it outside, but I just don't have time to do it right now.
    Last edited by peterhr; 2013-09-13 at 06:49.
    T-EGBB19 : RTL2832U / R820T+ Raspberry Pi + Dump1090 + Voltage Injecter with Bulgarian collinear + Pre-amp 8m above ground level
    Click here for theoretical and here for measured range diagrams.
    Stats for: 24-Jun-2014, Aircraft seen: 1,505 , Positions reported: 490,687, Maximum distance: 249nm (461km)

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